Tools of the Trade

Fretman Di Meola strums an old-fashioned tune.

Jazz guitarist Al Di Meola mixes some oldies and some brand-newbies at his Friday shows.
Jazz guitarist Al Di Meola mixes some oldies and some brand-newbies at his Friday shows.
FRI 9/30

Don't get jazz guitarist Al Di Meola started on newfangled technology. "I hate Pro Tools," says Di Meola, referring to the digital music software. "It gives you a multitude of choices that slows the whole process down. I find it easier to just play it than to have this technology slice and paste for you. A record that would normally take a month takes six months with Pro Tools."

Still, that doesn't explain Di Meola's three-year recording break. He hasn't released a new CD since 2002's Flesh on Flesh, which he's still supporting on the road. "I have to block out four to six months just to make a record," he sighs. "I can't be off the road for that amount of time. I can't say no to all these gigs."

The Grammy-winning vet, who joined fusion pioneers Return to Forever in 1974 before launching a solo career, hopes to have a new album on the shelves sometime next year. "It's a different buzz in the studio," he says. "To hear your new music develop is a tremendous high." Di Meola performs at the Winchester (12112 Madison Avenue in Lakewood) at 7:30 and 10 p.m. Friday. Tickets are $30; call 216-226-5681. -- Michael Gallucci

Supernatural Event
A smorgasbord of psychics comes to town.

SUN 10/2

It pays to be skeptical when shopping for a psychic, says Elizabeth Howell, organizer of Sunday's Psychic Fair. "You want to be careful that the reader doesn't impose and pressure you for money," she says. "If within the first five minutes of the reading you're feeling uncomfortable, speak up." Folks will have plenty of choices at Sunday's gathering: More than two dozen readers -- who specialize in Tarot cards, astrology, and palmistry -- will be on hand. But beware of promises to help you win the lottery or reunite with lost loved ones. Says Howell, somewhat cryptically, "Those are things you can do for yourself." Find out just what the hell she means from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Quality Inn, 7230 Engle Road in Middleburg Heights. Admission is $3; call 330-667-2903. -- Chris Miller

Fear Factor
Cedar Point ups its fright quotient.


It's never too early for a good scare. Halloween's a month away, but Cedar Point has already busted out its spooky seasonal gear for HalloWeekends. Three haunted houses and a Fright Zone -- think a dark and foggy trail -- top the list of attractions designed to freak you out. And be sure to take a look at CarnEvil, the attraction infested with creepy clowns and carnival workers. (Yeah, yeah --all clowns and carnival workers are creepy, but play along.) Halloweekends run through October 30 at Cedar Point, One Cedar Point Drive in Sandusky. It's open from 6 to 11 p.m. Friday, noon to midnight Saturday, and 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday. Admission (which includes all rides) is $9.95 to $44.95. Call 419-627-2223 for more information. -- Michael Gallucci

Feast of Sounds

SAT 10/1

Columbus' John Mullins Band takes its groove-rock sounds out to Stark County on Saturday to promote its latest CD . . . Famous Last Words. Between sets, fans can chow down at an outdoor ox roast and take a chance on a raffle for prizes ranging from sky-diving lessons to a cruise. Music plays and ox is cooked from 5 p.m. to 1 a.m. at Hooch's Bar, 121 East Lisbon Street in Waynesburg. Admission is $10. For more information, call 330-866-2703. -- Cris Glaser